Not to toot our own horns or anything, but when it comes to disappointment, we’ve got vast experience. Amy claims an acting career is a surefire express route to let-down expertise; Margaret claims a screenwriting career might be even more useful. And while we’ve still turned out quite nicely, thank you, that doesn’t make it any easier when we as parents have to help our children handle disappointment.
We don’t want to coddle our kids. We know we can’t protect them from every moment of sadness and regret. But what’s the best way to help them through such moments?
Dr. Jim Taylor explains what we as parents need to focus on– and it’s not the disappointment itself:
Disappointment is a natural response to failure, but some children react to their disappointment in ways that increase the likelihood of more failure and disappointment.
In this episode, we discuss:
- why disappointments are developmentally important
- why silence is the best policy, at least during a child’s “wet cat mode”
- why “tantrums belong upstairs” is a useful household rule
- why resilience and grit may be the most important traits our children need for success
- why some kids take what Margaret calls “the brambly path,” and how to guide them (or not)
And here’s some advice we talk about in the episode and find really useful:
- from Nancy Star for the Washington Post: “The First Rule of Sports (and all) Parenting: Don’t Speak”
- from Renée Jain at gozen.com: Why One Kid Gives Up While Another One Does Not: A Visual Story
- from Dr. Jim Taylor for Psychology Today: “Could Disappointment for Children Really Be Healthy?”
- from edutopia.org, some resources on how to foster resilience and grit in our kids
- from Bruce E. Brown of Proactive Coaching: why it’s never wrong to say “I love to watch you play”
- from Margaret’s dad: “Never judge a crossroads.”
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